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  • Western Australian teachers demand solutions to mental health issues among students

    Author: Rahima Saikal

Australian students have been experiencing a growing rate of mental health issues over the past two decades and teachers in Western Australia are feeling underqualified and underprepared to deal with these health issues. There is also growing frustration towards the Education and Health Departments who so far, have done little to formulate a response.

Matt Jarman, president of the State School Teachers Union WA said that schools have been desperate for a solution for years.

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“Schools are designing their own plans to help students, but there is no umbrella strategy which all schools are required to follow… This is a significant worry. We have been calling for change but so far, there is no word on whether anything will be done”, he said.

According to the Kids Helpline, 60% of calls that come through are related to mental and emotional health, as well as suicide concerns. However, Tony Fitzgerald, Virtual service manager, said Kids Helpline isn’t equipped to answer all calls.

“Kids Helpline is only able to respond to two out of every five contacts and with more depth and ongoing counselling required when they do get through, this places further pressure on us as a service to respond” he said.


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A 2023 Beyond Blue survey of 2369 school teachers across Australia found that 84% of them deemed poor mental health to be the biggest health issue that students were facing.

The bushfires, floods and pandemic lockdowns in the past few years have all contributed to the level of poor mental health among students as well as the rise of smartphones and social media platforms.

Geri Sumpter from Beyond Blue thinks mental health issues in schools need to be addressed right now.

“It is now more important than ever to make mental health just as important as physical health in schools. It is intrinsically linked to doing well at school, and we need to do the best by students and teachers to ensure healthy and resilient learning communities”, she said.


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Rahima Saikal

Rahima Saikal is a freelance journalist and content creator and has been working in the media industry for 10+ years all around the world.

Rahima enjoys writing about healthcare, wellness, travel and social change movements, particularly animal rights.

Having written numerous articles for both print and online publications, Rahima is well versed in what makes a good story.

Rahima lives between Bali and Australia with her family and 3 Bali dogs.